Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 22 (ANI/PRNewswire): Water is necessary for life and vital to meeting daily needs. People rely on rivers, wells, ponds, lakes or other water bodies for much of the daily water demand. Rapid development in the recent past has meant that the increase in demand has adversely affected natural water sources such as rivers. The drying and dying rivers have caused an alarming situation for the country. Today, India faces a major water crisis, the worst in the past four decades. Over half of the sub-continent has seen many rivers rapidly turn to dust. Experts have suggested an acute water scarcity in India if no preventive measures are taken.
The Art of Living celebrates World Water Day by highlighting the Art of Living JalTara - one of its Water Conservation Initiatives. Climate change, overwhelming development, mismanagement of resources and an increase in water demand has led to a loss of green cover, preventing groundwater recharging and causing drying up of rivers. Excessive waterlogging leads to topsoil runoff, adversely affecting soil health and disrupting farmers' livelihood.
World Water Day: Moving towards reviving rivers for sustainable growth
To diminish the severity of the situation, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, through The Art of Living community, has come up with a solution to revive the lost rivers and other water bodies such as ponds, wells, canals and temple tanks in various regions of India. Started in 2013, the Water Conservation Initiatives aim to provide a long-term and lasting solution and are reviving 70 rivers and streams across five states in India. More than 6, 56,000 trees have been planted along the river basins, with more than 19,400 villages benefiting. The project has influenced an area of over 59,000 sq. km. It has been working positively for the villages that it has covered thus far.
The Art of Living has put forward a three-pronged approach for its river projects:
- Community-driven: Empower local communities through capacity-building frameworks.
- Comprehensive: Provide local solutions scientifically that mimic natural systems for restoring water.
- Sustainable: Solve the immediate need to give people access to safe water and also create systems that ensure reliable supplies in the future
All the steps that have taken the project forward have met the three-pronged criteria and adopted a structured planning process, leading to its success.
Art of Living JalTara: An effort to better farming conditions
JalTara is a water conservation project in India that aims to replenish the groundwater level in villages nationwide. It relies on creating recharge structures on farming land and filling them with rocks and pebbles to facilitate rainwater seepage underground. Farmers today need help with irrigation and rely heavily on rainwater. This project solves their problem by recharging the groundwater so that the wells are revived, and the lack of water doesn't come in the way of farming. Also, the recharge structures ensure that water logging is reduced and crop spoilage is decreased during heavy rain.
So far, JalTara has been implemented in over 50 villages and impacted around 75,000 acres of land, with 40,000 trees planted and over 20,000 recharge structures built. Apart from the project's sustainability, one can also see its positive impact in the numbers, which show that the initiative has effectively approached its goals.
- 14 Ft: Increase of Water Level in Wells
- 120%: Farmer Income is More Than Doubled
- 42%: Increase in Crop Yield
- 100%: Decrease in Crop Spoilage due to Waterlogging
- 88%: Increase in Employment
- 58%: Improvement in Land Usage
With all these numbers making it clear that JalTara has succeeded in the areas it has been implemented thus far, The Art of Living aims to expand this project to 100,000 villages in five years. The project works under the scope of building 50 million recharge structures and recharging 15 trillion litres of water per year across India, ensuring it helps counter the water crisis in India.
The Art of Living, a non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization founded in 1981 by the world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader - Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, through its social projects, aims at reaching every corner of the nation and providing a solution to India's acute water scarcity.
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